Mon, Apr 29, 2024 8:15 PM

Magpies open with six-try victory


Peter Jones

The Moutere women’s rugby side made an emphatic start to their 2024 Tasman Trophy campaign with a 38-22 victory over Waimea Old Boys at Awarua Park on Sunday afternoon.

In conditions tailor-made for expansive rugby, the Magpies made a flying start, their highly-rated centre Fiaali’i Solomona slicing through some flimsy defence for the opening touchdown within two minutes of kick-off.

Two more converted tries followed before the break, while the Waimea side hinted at the danger they possessed on attack with a touchdown of their own to leave the score 21-5 at oranges.

For the next 20 minutes the home side were in almost complete control, scoring three more tries, one converted, to surge out to a 38-5 lead.

Flanker Ryhan Nadji surges over for a try.

However, Waimea showed their grit and, as the Moutere players tired, they finished strongest, scoring the last three tries to earn a well-deserved bonus point.

Moutere will be disappointed to let their opponent off the canvas late in the piece but had the game in hand well before then and have sent a message to the other teams in the trophy race, champions Marist and Kahurangi, that they will be a force to be reckoned with.

Moutere winger Koko Lambert tries for an outside break.

Up front the Magpies were well organised and efficient at set piece and, usually, at the breakdown. Leading the way was front rower Harley Huntley, flankers Court Finau, Ryhan Nadji and Niska Scott, while halfback Maddison Reid, first five Maiden Tupara, Solomona, Hannah Gillespie and fullback Phoenicia Te Rito showed they have an eye for a gap and the skills to exploit it.

In the other match, played on Saturday, Marist downed Kahurangi 50-15.

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